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6 Ways to Just Get Things Done Already

6 Ways to Just Get Things Done Already

Is procrastination killing your dreams and sucking the life out of you every day? Wouldn’t it feel great to just get off your butt and start moving your life forward again? You’ve probably got many tasks that need to be done, and they wouldn’t take nearly as long to accomplish as you think. Below are six different strategies you can use to get out of a rut and get things done already.

1. Stop Chasing Other People’s Goals

One of the biggest mistakes we make when setting our goals and making to-do lists is that we have many goals that are not really our own. We set goals that other people think are important, but we don’t really want to do them ourselves. Start there! Eliminate other people’s goals and think about the things that are truly important to you. You’ll have much more motivation and drive to accomplish goals you thought of yourself and that would directly benefit your life.

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2. Set a To-Do Day

Have weeks ever gone by with a few simple tasks never getting done? Perhaps you need to just make doing those “important yet not urgent” tasks a part of your weekly routine. Set a day of the week to get things done you’ve been putting off. If you know that you’ll apply for your online MBA and write a letter to your grandmother on Thursday, you can happily put it off until Thursday comes. Then, make all the things on your to-do list your priority. You’ll get things done much more consistently if you focus on them once a week.

3. Do the Easiest Thing First

If you’re really having a hard time getting started and feel a bit overwhelmed, just pick the easiest thing on your to-do list and do it immediately. Then choose the next easiest thing and do that right away. The idea here is to build momentum with small wins before tackling the bigger projects.

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4. Do the Most Important Thing First

If you could only accomplish one thing today from your to-do list, what would it be? What is the most important task on your list? Keep in mind that the most urgent task is rarely the most important one. If you can learn to focus on the tasks that will produce the greatest results, then you’ll be well on your way to living a happier, less stressful and more successful life.

5. Set Up Distraction Barriers for Yourself

One of the main reasons we don’t get things done is distraction. Social media is always just a smartphone-click away, and time-wasting websites are the first thing we want to do whenever we sit down to work on our computers. Set up simple website blocking extensions on your browser and hide your social media apps on your smartphone or delete them altogether. If you go a month without using these time-wasting sites, you’ll realize how little you need them and how much time you spend on them when you could be getting things done.

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6. Give Yourself Milestone Rewards

One easy way to motivate yourself to get things done is to make your everyday activities into rewards. Rather than watching Netflix or play a game whenever you want, force yourself to treat these as incentives for yourself. When you get one thing done on your to-do list, reward yourself with a set amount of play time. When the time’s up, you’re done—until you cross another item off your list.

It’s so easy to procrastinate on things, even for weeks at a time. Aren’t you getting sick of putting them off for so long? It can’t be helping your self-esteem, so now’s the time to turn things around. Take one of these six strategies above – whichever one seems the easiest – and take action on it immediately!

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Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Dixie Somers

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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